Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summit is always OPTIONAL

I never climb a mountain to reach the summit. That’s not the reason why I climb. If I ever do so then it would be curtailing my voyage, my journey since the summit does define a boundary, a limitation beyond which I do not see. And that would indeed be the end of my climbs. Therefore I never understand why climbers all over the world are so hungry for the summit. Why are they in such a rush to reach from where they would have to descend and return? Why don’t we simply seek the trail and route as high and far we can go! It may take us to the geographical summit or it may take us beyond, or it may take us somewhere else altogether.

I never like to reach; I prefer to be on the road, on a journey without an end or a reason. Only by doing so do I reach several summits one after another as they become resting points of my ultimate journey and not an end in themselves. Always arriving and approaching but never reaching and thus life becomes an endless adventure where I seek not to conclude but to continue.

But I do like reaching the summits, only if they happen of their own accord as I climb and as I have said before elsewhere, that to me wherever I reach is my summit. Even when summit is optional and never my primary pursuit I still reach it no matter where I reach. This might only be a way of fooling myself, some of you may opine; but then what’s life if not a foolish pursuit in search of our own destiny that we can never alter but certainly shape.

When I look up from the bottom of the mountain at the summit so far high up shimmering into the blue azure, I take a deep breath and sigh and then tell myself that it is a place where I may never get to and it isn’t important either. But then what’s important is for me to keep on walking and climbing. Since that’s the only thing that I can ever do and is within my control. The summit is never within my reach or control so why get obsessed with it! I will focus on my steps and my breathing and my silent solitude and let the summit take care of itself.

If the mountain feels generous and benevolent then she would allow me a fleeting moment on her crown, else she will tell me to go back and return another day when I am more worthy of her crown. And thus humbled, even when I reach the summit, I return home with another trail, another mountain and another summit within my heart’s eye.

Summit is always optional, getting down is mandatory!


  1. Great things are done when men and mountains meet, so, my friend, go and explore the heights and come back with stories to share and pictures to envy. All the very best for your summit and i do hope, one day, you reach one such summit where you never feel the urge of getting down... :-)
    xxooooxxxx always.